284 Items

Reagan and Gorbachev signing INF Treaty in 1987

(AP Photo/Bob Daugherty)

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Center Experts Comment on Significance of Withdrawing from INF Treaty

Following the news that the Trump administration plans to abandon the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, signed in 1987 by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, ten Belfer Center nuclear and U.S.-Russia relations experts offered their thoughts on the significance and consequences of this action.
 

People on paddleboats in Gorky Park in Moscow. July 12, 2018 (Marco Verch/Flickr).

Marco Verch/Flickr

Analysis & Opinions - The Hill

In Gorky Park, With Nuclear Worries

| Aug. 13, 2018

Today, both Russia and the United States are modernizing their nuclear forces to keep these threats robust for decades to come — though their forces’ total numbers are limited by treaties (thank goodness). The U.S. program is expected to cost $1.2 trillion over 30 years, and the Trump administration has added new, smaller nuclear weapons that critics warn might seem more usable should war come. Russia’s program includes entirely new types of strategic weapons, from an intercontinental torpedo designed to blow up U.S. coastal cities to a nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed cruise missile.

teaser image

Paper - Institute of Nuclear Materials Management

Regaining Nuclear Security Momentum

| July 2018

The 2010-2016 nuclear security summit process focused leaders’ attention on nuclear security and preventing nuclear terrorism. Momentum has waned since the final summit in 2016. Despite continuing nuclear security improvements in some countries, and ongoing efforts to maintain or strengthen the international nuclear security framework, serious vulnerabilities still exist in nuclear security systems around the world. Many nuclear facilities are not protected against all of the plausible threats adversaries might pose—especially in the case of threats from insiders. Nuclear materials remain unnecessarily vulnerable in too many locations. The culture within many nuclear organizations is insufficiently focused on security. Many nuclear security systems are not being exposed to sufficiently in-depth, creative, and realistic vulnerability assessments and testing. This paper will summarize the post-summit evolution of nuclear security efforts and offer recommendations for regaining international nuclear security momentum through combating complacency, improving implementation on the ground, strengthening frameworks for international cooperation, and maintaining nuclear security leadership.

Book - Cambridge University Press

Preventing Black-Market Trade in Nuclear Technology

| June 2018

Every nuclear weapons program for decades has relied extensively on illicit imports of nuclear-related technologies. This book offers the most detailed public account of how states procure what they need to build nuclear weapons, what is currently being done to stop them, and how global efforts to prevent such trade could be strengthened. While illicit nuclear trade can never be stopped completely, effective steps to block illicit purchases of nuclear technology have sometimes succeeded in slowing nuclear weapons programs and increasing their costs, giving diplomacy more chance to work. Hence, this book argues, preventing illicit transfers wherever possible is a key element of an effective global non-proliferation strategy.

President Donald Trump signs a Presidential Memorandum on the Iran nuclear deal from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Tuesday, May 8, 2018, in Washington. Trump announced the U.S. will pull out of the landmark nuclear accord with Iran, dealing a profound blow to U.S. allies and potentially deepening the president's isolation on the world stage.

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Belfer Center Experts on U.S. Withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal

Calling it a “great embarrassment” that fails to “halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions,” President Trump today announced his intention to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and re-impose sanctions on Iran. The independent nuclear, national security, and regional experts of Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs have been assessing the terms of the JCPOA for years. In the wake of Trump’s decision, many of them weighed in with thoughts on the significance of Washington’s policy change – and what comes next.